Futuristic Saudi exhibition showcases Vision 2030 mega-projects on sidelines of G20 summit

Futuristic Saudi exhibition showcases Vision 2030 mega-projects on sidelines of G20 summit
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Visitors attend the Media Oasis exhibition organized by the Saudi Ministry of Media on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi on Sept. 9, 2023. (AN photo/Rahaf Jambi)
Futuristic Saudi exhibition showcases Vision 2030 mega-projects on sidelines of G20 summit
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Visitors attend the Media Oasis exhibition organized by the Saudi Ministry of Media on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi on Sept. 9, 2023. (AN photo/Rahaf Jambi)
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Updated 10 September 2023
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Futuristic Saudi exhibition showcases Vision 2030 mega-projects on sidelines of G20 summit

Futuristic Saudi exhibition showcases Vision 2030 mega-projects on sidelines of G20 summit
  • New Delhi event is the third Media Oasis edition, and the first to be held outside Saudi Arabia
  • Exhibition takes visitors on a virtual tour of Saudi heritage sites, futuristic infrastructure

NEW DELHI: A special exhibition by the Saudi Ministry of Media, being held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, offers an interactive multimedia experience of the Kingdom’s main mega-projects under Vision 2030.

The three-day Media Oasis at The Oberoi Hotel has been organized in partnership with the Saudi flagship $500 billion smart city project NEOM, the Saudi ministries of energy, sports, culture, as well as the Future Investment Initiative, Invest Saudi, the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, and the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts.

The opening of the exhibition on Saturday was witnessed by ministers from the official G20 Saudi delegation, as well as foreign officials and dozens of international media outlets.

“Media Oasis is a new initiative by the Ministry of Media to redefine media coverage by leveraging modern technology to achieve greater creativity, innovation and excellence in covering national events, major occasions, and Saudi Arabia’s international engagements,” Alhanouf Abohaimed, head of partnerships at the Saudi Center of Government Communications, told Arab News at the venue.

She said the exhibition was “utilizing cutting-edge technologies to showcase the milestones reached by significant national transformative initiatives” under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 social and economic diversification plan.

The interactive exhibition takes visitors on a virtual tour where they can engage with UNESCO-class Saudi heritage sites, resorts along the Red Sea coast, new high-tech solutions for clean energy, the residential designs and infrastructure of the future, and projects taking sporting experiences to the next level.

The Media Oasis in New Delhi is the exhibition’s third edition, but the first one outside the Kingdom. Two earlier ones took place in Jeddah in June this year.

Indian visitors who came to the exhibition were fascinated not only by the immersive experience it offered, but also the sustainable solutions in place and spearheaded and developed in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s really interesting to see how advanced technology is being leveraged by Saudi Arabia to create such wonderful outcomes. What I really like, or what I really enjoy, is the undivided focus on the idea of sustainability that I’m getting to witness here,” Haripriya Arora, a social media influencer, told Arab News.

“I am seeing representations by SABIC, for example, just seeing how they are so invested in the idea of recycling ocean waste, for example, and creating something so useful out of it. It really helps you get a vision of how important sustainability is and how it can’t be compromised, how the future is dependent on it.”

The experience was eye-opening even for someone like Zikrur Rahman, who has lived in the Kingdom. He was in awe of how many projects have been launched by Saudi Arabia in recent ears and how “progress has been given a push” in all industries and sectors.

“The progress that you are making, this is not known to the world, I wish that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia showcase(s) such an event in other countries also,” he said.
“Media Oasis is a very good initiative. It’s a projection of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ... it was very, very much needed in a country like India.”
 

 

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Saudi officials reveal details of highly-anticipated ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ opera

Saudi officials reveal details of highly-anticipated ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ opera
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Saudi officials reveal details of highly-anticipated ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ opera

Saudi officials reveal details of highly-anticipated ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ opera

RIYADH: Saudi officials on Thursday revealed details of performances of “Zarqa Al-Yamama,” the first Saudi opera and the largest to be performed in the Arabic language.
The opera opens on April 25 and will run until May 4 at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh, the Theater and Performing Arts Commission announced at a press conference.
Sultan Al-Bazei, the CEO of the commission, said: “The ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ opera represents a new phase for Saudi culture, in which the most famous stories of our narrative and cultural heritage are embodied on the theater stages with qualitative works according to the highest international standards.”
He added that the new production is the result of years of work, and all its details were developed with great care and hard work.


He expressed appreciation for the follow-up and attention given by Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who is also the chairman of the board of directors of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission.
Prince Badr announced the launch of the opera on Feb. 16 at a ceremony in London, which was attended by the Saudi and international creatives participating in the opera’s production.
Al-Bazei said that “Zarqaa Al-Yamama” derives its story, spirit and language from the cultures of the Arabian Peninsula.
The opera “in some way embodies a bloody tragedy, depicting ancient history and at the same time symbolizing the sorrows of the contemporary man in the world, without being devoid of the specter of hope that heralds a bright and prosperous tomorrow,” Al-Bazei explained.
He added that the first Saudi opera will include prominent names in the Saudi music scene, most notably the author of the text, Saleh Zamanan, and the participation of a number of Saudi artists in the show.
Al-Bazei said the Dresden Sinfoniker Orchestra will perform the musical pieces of the opera, and the Czech Philharmonic Choir will accompany the events of the story with distinctive vocals, while Swiss director Daniele Finzi Pasca will undertake the task of directing all the details of the opera.
International operatic composer Lee Bradshaw put together the tunes for this epic story, drawing inspiration from some traditional elements to create a contemporary framework.
The commission announced during the press conference the main partners are the Roshan Group and the King Fahd Cultural Center.
It also honored other official partners including Banque Saudi Fransi, Saudi Signs Media and Genesis Motor, and sponsors including Nova and Spirit of Saudi Arabia, and hospitality partners Bateel and Ramada by Wyndham.
Through the opera, the Theater and Performing Arts Commission aims to strengthen the Saudi cultural sector, highlight national talent, and reproduce and revive famous works and stories inherited from the Arabian Peninsula in a contemporary and creative form.
It also aims to enhance international cultural exchange, as one of the goals of the National Strategy for Culture derived from the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.


Saudi Arabia expresses regret over failure on Palestine’s bid for UN membership

Saudi Arabia expresses regret over failure on Palestine’s bid for UN membership
Updated 19 April 2024
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Saudi Arabia expresses regret over failure on Palestine’s bid for UN membership

Saudi Arabia expresses regret over failure on Palestine’s bid for UN membership
  • Kingdom reaffirms its support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination
  • Jordan also expresses ‘sincere sorrow’ on the Security Council’s inability to approve the resolution

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia expressed its regret for at the failure of United Nations Security Council adopting a resolution accepting full membership of Palestine in the UN.

In an official statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on social media platform X, the Kingdom said the ‘failure to adopt the resolution allows for the Israeli occupation to continue its violations if international law without deterrence and will not bring the desired peace closer.”


The ministry renewed the Kingdom’s call for the international community assume its responsibility towards stopping the Israeli occupation’s attacks on civilians in Gaza.

The Kingdom also reaffirmed its support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and establishing their Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant international resolutions.

Jordan also expressed its ‘sincere sorrow’ on the Security Council’s inability to approve a resolution that would have admitted Palestine as a full member of the UN due to the US veto power.

In a statement, the country’s foreign affairs ministry reaffirmed “that the international community is in favor of the two-state solution, which Israel is undermining.

“The Security Council must recognize the Palestinian state in order to stop Israel from depriving the Palestinian people of their right to freedom and their own state,” state news agency Petra reported.

“Recognizing the Palestinian state and its full membership is a necessary step to impose a just peace that ends the occupation, ends the conflict, and fulfills the right of all the peoples of the region to live in security and stability,” ministry spokesperson Sufian Qudah said.

“Jordan demands that all nations acknowledge the State of Palestine on the lines of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a prerequisite to achieving regional peace and security.”

Qatar, in a statement issued by its foreign affairs ministry, also expressed its “deep regret at the failure of the Security Council to adopt a draft resolution accepting full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.”

 

 

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation also expressed deep regret over the Security Council’s failure “to fulfill its responsibilities towards granting full membership to the State of Palestine in the United Nations, at a time when the Palestinian people are facing the harshest forms of aggression, persecution and genocide.

The organization, in a statement, affirmed that the “use of the United States’ veto right contravenes the provisions of the United Nations Charter, which allows membership for all states accepting the obligations therein, and continues to hinder the Palestinian people from obtaining their legitimate rights, thus perpetuating the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people over the past 75 years,” Qatar News Agency reported.

OIC also affirmed Palestine’s legitimate right to embody its political and legal status within the United Nations, “considering this as an overdue entitlement for decades based on the political, legal, historical, and natural rights of the Palestinian people in their land, as confirmed by relevant United Nations resolutions.”


Italian Embassy celebrates blossoming ties with Saudi Arabia on first ‘Made in Italy Day’

Italian Embassy celebrates blossoming ties with Saudi Arabia on first ‘Made in Italy Day’
Updated 19 April 2024
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Italian Embassy celebrates blossoming ties with Saudi Arabia on first ‘Made in Italy Day’

Italian Embassy celebrates blossoming ties with Saudi Arabia on first ‘Made in Italy Day’
  • Mission marks event with opening of new visa application center, exhibition space
  • Facility will be used to promote ‘quality, variety and creativity’ of Italian goods, official says

RIYADH: The Italian Embassy in Riyadh on Tuesday celebrated the inaugural “Made in Italy Day” with the opening of a new visa application center and exhibition space.

Giuliano Fragnito, the deputy head of the mission, told Arab News the event provided an opportunity to showcase Italian expertise in a variety of fields, including the fashion, design, automotive and space industries.

“Today we are celebrating ‘Made in Italy Day,’ which is a day that celebrates the creativity, innovation and the territories of Italy and Italy’s products,” he said.

The date was chosen to mark the anniversary of the birth of Leonardo da Vinci on April 15, 1452.

Fragnito said the new exhibition space, called Casa Italia, would be used to promote Italy from a “commercial, cultural and scientific point of view,” with the opening event being a celebration of its contribution to the space industry, titled “Italian Space Way.”

The event was fitting as Italy and Saudi Arabia were close partners in the sector, with the Italian Space Agency and Saudi Space Commission signing an agreement in 2022 to work more closely together, he said.

The wider purpose of Tuesday’s celebrations was to highlight the growing relationship between Italy and the Kingdom in a range of fields, Fragnito said.

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner of Italy and the bilateral relationship is growing at a very fast pace … first of all from a political point of view but also the trade sector, scientific cooperation, academic cooperation and cultural cooperation.”

Italian exports to Saudi Arabia grew by 20 percent last year and Rome was keen to take the relationship between the two countries “to the next level,” he said.

“The Saudi market is more and more conscious and appreciates the quality, the variety and the creativity of the Italian products.

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner of Italy and it is very important to celebrate ‘Made in Italy Day’ in Saudi Arabia, which is a very important market for Italian exports.”

The new visa application center, which is co-managed by technology services companies AlmaViva and VFS Global, is located at Gate 2 of Loclizer Mall in Riyadh. Similar services are also available in Jeddah and Dammam.


Saudi authorities thwart attempt to smuggle Captagon pills

Saudi authorities thwart attempt to smuggle Captagon pills
Updated 19 April 2024
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Saudi authorities thwart attempt to smuggle Captagon pills

Saudi authorities thwart attempt to smuggle Captagon pills

RIYADH: The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority has thwarted an attempt to smuggle 1,006,518 Captagon pills at Duba Port, northwest of the Kingdom.

The pills were found hidden in a shipment labeled “pepper and guava” coming into the Kingdom through the port. After the seizure was completed, coordination was made with the General Directorate of Narcotics Control to ensure the arrest of the expected recipient of the seized items inside the Kingdom, and he was arrested.

Authorities said they are committed to tightening Customs control of the Kingdom’s imports and exports, stressing that they will stay vigilant to fight smuggling attempts to ensure the security of the society.

Saudi authorities have recently made several drug-related arrests and confiscations in operations across the Kingdom. Border Guard land patrols in the Jazan region thwarted an attempt to smuggle 120 kg of qat. The patrols also foiled an attempt to smuggle 170 kg of qat in Al-Ardah governorate of the same region.


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority begins archaeological survey

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority begins archaeological survey
Updated 18 April 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority begins archaeological survey

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority begins archaeological survey
  • Study will look at the reserve in depth and conduct archaeological studies to help it achieve its strategic objectives

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority on Thursday announced it had launched a comprehensive preliminary archaeological survey.

The study — which was announced on April 18, World Heritage Day — will look at the reserve in depth and conduct archaeological studies to help it achieve its strategic objectives, while working toward targets for the year 2030 for the Kingdom’s royal reserves.

The study is being done in partnership with King Saud University and in cooperation with the Heritage Commission. It is being led by a team of experts and specialized national competencies, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It will be conducted using two methods: the first via satellite, and the second, based on what is known as the “comprehensive archaeological survey,” by visiting the discovered sites, while preparing a detailed report for each site visited.

The survey involves producing studies on the old environment; work on rehabilitating archaeological and historic sites; and an attempt to label suitable sites as tourist attractions. It will also include developing a plan to preserve existing and discovered sites.

The King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve is one of the seven reserves established by royal decree. It holds governmental membership in the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and is managed by an independent body headed by the Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif.